Minority nationalism is a form of nationalism that usually occurs in response to majority nationalism. It is very common among groups that live on a land and manage to separate their own cultural presence from the rest of the country.
Minority nationalism is quite common when Europe’s political conditions are examined. Almost all of the central states that emerged after the political fragmentity of medieval and new age Europe are home to different cultural groups and autonomous regions. Alhowever, this situation does not always cause problems, but from time to time it can even lead to political polemics, divisions and terrorist activities.
ECONOMIC CONDITIONS CAUSE MINORIY NATIONALISM
The most important factor in the emergence of minority nationalism is the economy. The voices of separation are beginning to rise within autonomous regions or cultural groups that increase their economic prosperity within another and reach a richer position than the rest of the country. These regions, which are more developed than the rest of the country, are uncomfortable with the attempt to develop the rest of the country with their own taxes and demand freedom.
With this feature, minority nationalism, reminiscent of a kind of classical liberalism, should not be examined within the scope of conservatism or nationalism and should not be confused with other political currents. Minority nationalism, shaped by each country’s own dynamics, has no political character in general, but is on the right-wing on a political scale.
AN EXAMPLE OF MINORITY NATIONALISM: CATALONIA ISSUE
Examples of this situation can be found in many countries in Europe. One of them is minority nationalism seen in the Catalonia region of Spain. Spain was one of the first democratic monarchies of the 20th century. As a result of the civil war before World War II, fascist dictator Franco came to power and ruled the country for a long time. After World War II, Franco’s policies shifted slightly to liberalism and were similar to Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. Throughout this process, Catalonia has left the rest of Spain behind in terms of development and enriched with tourism, industrial activities brought about by its location and historical texture. At the end of the process, an independence referendum was held in 2017, but the independence movement was suppressed with law enforcement by Spanish central government. In the following days, separatist Catalan politicians had to leave the country and sought refuge in countries such as Belgium. However, the desire for independence in Catalonia has not end.